Open Innovation in Science Award of the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin (Kopie)


Open Innovation and Open Science are increasingly recognized as the central pillars of future research and innovation systems.

A better integration of Open Innovation and Open Science into research will become an important driving force to increase scientific novelty and impact, calling for the creation of novel playgrounds for Open Innovation in Science (OIS)[1].

The Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin (ECN) together with the Einstein Foundation Berlin recognize the importance of applying OIS principles and methods for the progression of scientific research as well as for the optimal translation of scientific discoveries into impact that tackles current and future societal challenges.

Since inter- and transdisciplinary, innovative projects often face severe problems receiving financial support from established, traditional funding lines in their early stages, the ECN will grant neuroscientific projects, which apply OIS concepts, tools and methods in one or more stages of the entire scientific research process with the annual Open Innovation in Science Award (OIS Award). The OIS Award includes direct financial support of 5000 EUR for selected OIS project ideas as well as expert training and coaching modules for further developing and implementing these projects.

By doing so, the ECN

  • creates an OIS playground that contributes to strengthening neuroscientists’ capabilities for applying open and collaborative practices in their research and innovation activities, and
  • incubates OIS projects in the field of Neuroscience.

The OIS Award is implemented in collaboration with the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft’s Open Innovation in Science Center (LBG OIS Center), QUEST and SPARK-Berlin.




Who can participate?

All individual scientists or groups of scientists in the field of Neuroscience located in Berlin as well as local neuroscientific institutions. Early career researchers such as PhD students and their supervisors are particularly encouraged to apply!

The OIS Award is an integrative element of the ECN’s PhD program. ECN PhD students submit to the OIS Award as part of their PhD training.

Which projects are eligible for the OIS Award?

The OIS Award aims at supporting the development and implementation of OIS project ideas. An OIS project idea eligible for submission to the OIS Award needs to

  • convincingly outline how OIS concepts, methods and tools are planned to be incorporated in a neuroscientific research and innovation context - whether this involves inbound OIS approaches such as citizen or crowd science, patient-driven innovation, transdisciplinary co-creation of research projects or open distribution and dissemination of research data and/or results, converting scientific discovery into behavioral advice, app development or other innovative solutions using outbound OIS approaches such as technological competence leveraging or hackathons, and
  • how this contributes to increasing novelty, efficiency and/or impact of the particular neuroscientific research in which this OIS project is embedded.


How can you participate in the OIS Award?

Applying for and participating in the process contains several steps as outlined below:


Step 1 | Submission of a short OIS project idea description (5 pages)

Please submit a short description of your envisioned OIS project until June 28, 2019 to, using this template.

The main questions you need to address in your OIS project idea description are:

  • OIS project context: In which new or ongoing neuroscientific research project/program is this OIS project idea embedded?
  • OIS project goal: What ”challenge/s” in the process of generating and/or disseminating this neuroscientific research do you take as the point of departure for your OIS project idea?
    • Early stages (developing              novel and relevant research questions and hypotheses, acquiring funding, developing research designs/methods/materials), and/or
    • Middle stages (collecting data, processing/coding of data, analysis/writing), and/or
    • Late stages (evaluation, diffusion, translation into innovation)
  • OIS project approach: With whom (or from whom) externally (outside your academic field and/or outside academia), how and under which terms will you collaborate, exchange knowledge or source knowledge from to achieve your project goal?
  • OIS project value: How does this project idea contribute to better (increased novelty, efficiency, and/or impact) generating and/or disseminating this neuroscientific research (vs. doing it in the traditional way)?


Step 2 | First review, feedback and selection of most promising OIS project ideas

All OIS project ideas submitted during the first step will be reviewed by a panel of OIS experts and receive feedback by August 30, 2019. The most promising submissions (shortlist) will be invited to incorporate the feedback, prepare a presentation and pitch their OIS project ideas at the OIS Award Event on October 10, 2019.

The panel of OIS experts consists amongst others:

  • Prof. Ulrich Dirnagl (BIH QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research)
  • Prof. Craig Garner (SPARK-Berlin)
  • Prof. Marion Poetz (LBG OIS Center and Copenhagen Business School)
  • Prof. Henry Sauermann (European School of Management and Technology Berlin)


Step 3 | OIS Award Event and OIS Project Development Workshops

The teams behind the shortlisted OIS project ideas will receive the opportunity to present their ideas at a public pitching event in front of a panel of experts on October 10, 2019 at 17:00 CET. 

These experts will also nominate the winner(s) of the OIS Award of the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin who will receive financial support to further materialize their ideas.

The teams behind all shortlisted projects will be invited to participate in an OIS project development workshop on October 11, 2019 (9:00-18:00).

The winning project team/s will additionally receive support in the form of special coaching modules

  • on October 12, 2019 (9:00 -14:00)
  • in the period between October 2019 and January 2020 (fully-day workshop, tbs)

with the aim of developing their OIS project ideas into detailed OIS project proposals and starting their implementation.

These detailed OIS project proposals have to be handed in by February 17, 2020 to Further information can be requested via this email address, too.


We are looking forward to receiving your OIS project idea submissions!

- The ECN OIS team -





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